Relative of Amazon employee used insider info to trade $1.4 million in stocks

The Bothell man pleaded guilty Nov. 5 for securities fraud

A 36-year-old Bothell man pleaded guilty to securities fraud for insider trading activity with Amazon information he obtaining from a relative. The man traded and made a profit of about $1.42 million in stock.

The man did this between 2015 and 2018 with Amazon inside information from his relative, who know longer works at Amazon. The relative was in the Amazon Finance Department and could access confidential information about revenues and expenses. They were also subject to something called “blackout periods” where no stock was allowed to be traded by her or her immediate relatives, including the Bothell resident.

Despite this, the 36-year-old traded stock for himself and his father during these blackout periods.

As part of the plea agreement, the relative does not face criminal charges, and the Bothell man has agreed to forfeit the $1.42 million to the U.S., according to the Department of Justice. Prosecutors, as part of the plea, will not be recommending a sentence of more than 33 months in prison, but security fraud is punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

On Sept. 28, the Bothell man was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a civil insider trading case. The recoveries in that case will be credited toward the forfeiture owed to the U.S., according to a press release.